Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
To be eligible for any of the Employment Options listed below, you must currently be on an F-1 visa and have studied at least nine months in the United States at a higher education institution on a valid non-immigrant visa (e.g., F, J, H, E, L, M)
Curricular Practical Training is a type of employment that is either required by your curriculum, or is an academically integrated part of a credit-bearing course. This employment may be an internship, co-op education job, or any other work experience that is either required for your degree (as defined in the course catalog) or for which academic credit is awarded. The advisor at Intercultural and International Student Services authorizes it.
You need to apply for CPT through Intercultural and International Student Services. For an application to apply and more information please contact our office.
An internship can be paid or unpaid as long as it meets the requirement listed above. In addition, you must go to the Internship Office before CPT approval.
F-1 students who have been in their academic program for at least nine months, and who have maintained F-1 status potentially qualify. In addition, your curriculum must require employment in order to achieve your degree/program, or you must be registered for a credit-bearing course that provides academic integration with the employment.
Employment for less than 20 hours per week is considered part-time curricular practical training. The employment authorization written on the back of your I-20 ID copy will specify permission to engage in part-time training and you must limit your work to no more than 20 hours per week. There is no limitation upon the length of time you may participate in part-time curricular practical training, but you must be simultaneously enrolled as a full-time student in order to maintain lawful F-1 status.
Employment for more than 20 hours per week is considered full-time curricular practical training, regardless of whether you are enrolled full-time or part-time for classes. The employment authorization on your I-20 ID copy will specify permission to participate in full-time training. If you participate in twelve months or more of curricular practical training you will not be eligible for post-completion optional practical training.
Your I-20 form authorized for curricular practical training is the document which indicates employment authorization. Please BRING THE FOLLOWING TO YOUR EMPLOYER: your I-20 form, your passport and other personal identification such as driver's license or student ID to your employer. These documents will allow your employer to complete the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9. All employers are required to complete an I-9 form for every employee.
If a student uses a total of 12 months or more of full-time CPT, it cancels out all OPT time. Part time CPT does not count toward this 12-month aggregate.
CPT (usually an internship) must be "an integral part of an established curriculum in the student's course of study" and, therefore, before graduation. According to the regulations, there is no specified limit on either the number of times or the length of time a student may engage in either part-or full-time CPT, however, it does affect OPT if full time CPT is 12 months or more.